First, the disclaimer. "I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions are my own." That done, CAN'T HELP FALLING is a romance, loosely based on Lewis's Narnia series and set, of course, in Oxford. Emelia is set on finding the real magical wardrobe the fictional characters in Lewis's series had, but even through she crawls into random wardrobes and hides, of course, she doesn't seem to have much luck finding Narnia. Instead, she finds Peter. I would love to see the tea cup Peter found though, and am curious how it got to be inside a wardrobe...
Peter is a rowing coach, seeing as he is medically out of racing for the time due to an unfortunate injury. He's also dealing with a messed up older brother.
I wanted to like this book, I truly did. I love romance. But unfortunately, this book was another miss with me. Ms. Isaac truly has mastered deep point of view, but her characters are one-dimensional, and I couldn't find any sympathy for them. I did like Allie better in this book than I did in the first one.
There are some instances of the characters drinking alcoholic beverages if readers find that offensive. There's also not much of a faith message. More of a sweet romance.
Since I really enjoyed Kara Isaac's first book, CLOSE TO YOU, I knew I must read CAN'T HELP FALLING. I was not disappointed. Though this book was mainly about Emelia and Peter, it was fun that Allie and Jackson (from CLOSE TO YOU) were included as friends of the couple. Allie learned so much through her experiences that now she is a voice of wisdom for her friends. Emelia has deep secrets, trying to "reinvent herself" after some disastrous actions in the past. She sees her new job in Oxford, England, as a way of trying to set things right. Peter has his own load of guilt. Their meeting was probably the most unique I've ever read. I liked the way the author showed the good, the bad, and the ugly of relationships, for both Christians and non-Christians. Forgiveness is not easy, even for Christians. Kara Isaac's has quickly established herself as a "must read" author for me. I highly recommend this contemporary romance.
Sqqqueeaaallll!!!! Kara Isaac has taken my favourite ever children's series and incorporated it into a contemporary romance. I'm beside-myself-giddy!!!! Do you love all things Narnia? Yes? Then this book is for you. No? That's okay, you might not thrill at every literary reference but you'll still thrill at Peter and Emelia's complicated love story.
The Narnia tie-ins are fantastic! Love Emelia's obsession with wardrobes...and I guess now is as good a time as any to confess that I share that same fascination. So, of course, I love the pivotal role a wardrobe plays in this story. And I'm thrilled that Reepicheep makes an appearance in an impactful way. :-)
Infused with humour and witty dialogue this almost reads as a romantic comedy except for the shadow of secrets looming in the background. So even as I laughed over pithy comments and situational slap-stick, I felt the weight of those secrets bearing down on Emelia and Peter...and me. Deliciously conflicting and made for an anxiety-riddled read.
A clever first meet had me grinning...and quickly falling for a certain Oxford rower. Brilliantly done. But did I mention it's complicated? Really, really complicated. And Isaac doesn't let us know exactly how complicated right at the start. She dangles delicious tidbits that we have to slowly piece together until we get the whole awful truth. That's when my laughter turned to tears -- some of them angry as I railed against stubborn ol' Peter. Gah!
I thrilled over the faith thread Isaac has woven into this story. Because, well, as Reepicheep would say, "We have nothing if not belief." And Emelia has been living with nothing for a long time but learning to believe in a loving God -- and in her own self-worth -- is so hard. I got shivers up my spine and at one point!
A poignant, funny and tender romance that inspires hope in second chances.
Im a Narnian at heart, therefore it was the synopsis of Kara Isaacs sophomore novel which led me to take a chance on a new author. Cant Help Falling starts out sweet and a little silly, a clever approach by the author to draw her readers in deeperlike wading into the ocean. Emelia and Peters awkward introductions wet my feet, with the hint of a secret I was in up to my knees, by the time Emelias plan of self-redemption is in motion I was treading water, and then whoosh The story swept me away.
When Peter finds Emelia in an antique wardrobe he asks Are you a Susan or a Lucy? If you are familiar with the Narnia series, you know how Emelia wants to answer the question. However, Emelia is not a Christian and even cringes later in the story when Peter mentions church. She is worldly and Isaac writes an accurate description of the way many 20-somethings think, live, and behave. If the mention of make-up sex in a Christian novel turns you off then consider this fair warning, but Id hate for sensitive readers to miss out on a really wonderful story about Gods sovereignty, His ability to reach the lost, and His calling on us to extend grace and forgiveness.
The manner in which this author describes a scene, her character development, as well as the C.S. Lewis/Narnia tie in were spot on! Furthermore, I dont often buy romance novels because I cant stand it when characters drone on and on about how physically attracted or how strong their longings are for one another (😝 pining). If you understand where Im coming from, then trust me when I say this is good romance. I will definitely read another Kara Isaac romance.
This book hooked me right from the beginning. Imagine finding someone hiding in a wardrobe in an antique shop. And after they practically fall out of it, realizing you both know a C.S. Lewis' story. That's what happened to Peter when he met Emelia. To top it all off, after she leaves he finds the cup and saucer he's been searching ten years for to complete his mother's collection in the wardrobe.
I enjoyed learning a little more about English culture as I read the story and the mystery behind Emelia trying to reinvent herself. The writing was superb, keeping the mystery a secret until right at the end, and I didn't peek. There have been a couple of times in my life when I wanted to reinvent myself so I could totally relate to Emelia on that level. The romance of Jackson and Allie carried over from Close To You, which I haven't had the pleasure to read yet but it didn't keep me from enjoying this book.
The romance was real, heartbreaking at times, but no one has a perfect relationship and I appreciated that Kara Isaac wrote it that way. I also admired the fact that Peter wanted a relationship with Emelia but couldn't follow through because she wasn't a Christian. I enjoyed this book so much that I'll be reading Close to You the first chance I get. I've found a new author to follow!
This book was given to me and I wasn't required to write a review, positive or otherwise.